The New Year is a great time to embark on a job search! However, it’s easy to become overwhelmed with all the advice listed on job search articles and websites.

As a career counselor with 15+ years under my belt, I’ve found that a successful job search boils down to just these 3 things:

1.) Have a Clear Target . Perhaps, the biggest reason for unemployment and underemployment is a lack of clarity and focus. Employers want concrete examples of what you can do for them, and in today’s world, “generic” just doesn’t cut it. If you are considering multiple types of positions or are changing careers, or if you’ve been
unsuccessfully job searching for months, it’s time to change tactics.

An honest self-assessment can help you focus on what you really want to do, and what’s realistic for you. It can be formal or informal, with a career coach or counselor, or it can be conducted independently on your own. Ultimately, honest self-assessment will provide you with greater clarity leading to a more efficient job search. An added benefit: greater confidence – which will certainly help in networking and interviewing.

2.) Put Yourself in the Employer’s Shoes. Many job seekers fall into the trap of assuming they know what potential employers want. Thorough research is critical! Your research should lead to a targeted list of employers, which should then lead to an audience profile. Once you understand your audience’s motivations, you can develop an appropriate message and strategy to connect with them.

What makes people listen?
An audience will respond, either purposely or unconsciously

  • if the message is in their self-interest
  • if they trust and believe the person delivering the message
  • if they like the message itself

Understanding what your audience needs and expects, and adapting your messages accordingly, greatly enhances your chances of communicating successfully.

3.) Don’t rely only on internet job boards. A mere 18% of hires are obtained through job boards. Networking is still the best way to find a job. Think back through your own career– how did you get your jobs?

There are all sorts of ways to network; different strategies will work for different people. Keep in mind that networks aren’t built overnight.

Employers will be hiring more people in 2015. Follow these 3 tips and you’ll be one of them!